“Wall of Water” Hits Frasier Meadows
UMA has just learned that Boulder member Frasier Meadows has been severely impacted by flooding. In less than one week, Boulder received an entire year’s rainfall — fifteen inches. Flood prevention measures that had been put into place over the past few years at the organization handled the deluges of rain that fell mercilessly. Then, on Thursday rains of apocalyptic proportions began to fall. Without warning on Thursday evening a “wall of water” made a direct hit on the Health Care Center.
CEO Tim Johnson reports staff had just safely relocated 34 Assisted Living residents elsewhere on campus due to roof leaks from a hail storm. Suddenly, a Facilities employee shouted that the Health Center was in a state of disaster. Staff, many of whom had not been home for days, ran to the lobby where they witnessed a wall of water invade the building, flooding the Health Care Center, Assisted Living building and two garages. Staff immediately began evacuating 54 residents from two 27-bed units, one of which was a dementia unit. While it only took 20 minutes to relocate the residents, in that length of time the facility was plunged into darkness as transformers exploded and generators failed because of flooding in the garages.
Meanwhile, three feet of water began to seep into the ground level of the Independent Living facilities, forcing further evacuations. Under the threat of even more flooding, all ground floor residents were moved to higher floors. Johnson reports, “It was a tremendous undertaking by our supercharged staff members.”
The entire process took place without assistance from police or fire assistance, who were handling emergencies elsewhere in the Boulder community. Thankfully, there were no injuries to residents, and only one staff member suffered a shoulder injury.
As the night wore on, staff tried to calm and provide comfort to residents but were in turn met by miraculous moments of ministry. A resident from the memory unit, who for three years has been totally dependent on caregivers, quietly hummed and sang hymns through the night…ministering in her own quiet way to the needs of the many around her. As Johnson walked past her, she was singing the hymn ‘In The Garden’. He paused in front of her as she lay on her bed and raised both of her hands to grab his hands. Together they sang:
“and he walks with me and he talks with me,
and he tells me I am His own;
and the joy we share as we tarry there,
none other has ever known.”
A woman who hadn’t communicated in years ministered to those gathered around in their greatest moment of need!
Johnson reports that at least 20 staff lost vehicles when the garages flooded, but there may be as many as 120 vehicles lost. Pumps have been running to evacuate water from the parking structure, but the extent of damage is still unknown. He also reports that due to ongoing power outages and flood damage to lower floors, the remaining Health Care Center residents may have to be relocated today. In addition, the Assisted Living Center is not likely to be useable for a long time, so staff are exploring long term options.
YOUR HELP IS NEEDED. While the facility had adequate insurance coverage, individual staff members have suffered devastating losses of home and property. Please remember them in your prayers. The true impact of this 1000 year flood has yet to be measured, but experience says recovery will be a painstakingly slow process. Staff who have lost everything are still faithfully reporting for work, but they will need financial assistance to get back on their feet.
Please mobilize your employees and friends to make generous donations. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, UMA members responded generously. Then, when Hurricane Sandy demolished parts of the Eastern Seaboard, you again gave unselfishly. Now your generosity is needed once again. Watch Member News for details.